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Hooker Sam Matavesi joins Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints can today confirm the signing of Fijian international hooker Sam Matavesi with immediate effect.

The 27-year-old, who can also play as a number eight, arrives at Franklin’s Gardens from Championship outfit Cornish Pirates having played in all four of Fiji’s pool games at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Matavesi has impressed for Pirates since signing in 2017 from Redruth, earning a recall to the Flying Fijians’ side after a five-year international hiatus. This will be his first taste of the Gallagher Premiership, but he enjoyed a loan spell in France last season with Toulouse – who went on to claim the Top14 title.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to compete at the top level of English rugby.”

Sam Matavesi

Matavesi, brother of Newcastle Falcons duo Josh and Joel, balances his rugby commitments with a career in the Royal Navy and has been based at RNAS Culdrose.

He has not only played in the annual Babcock Trophy match against the Army at Twickenham, but has also represented the UK Armed Forces side and was awarded the Cossack Sword in 2018.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to compete at the top level of English rugby and I can’t wait to pull on a Black, Green and Gold jersey for the first time,” he said.

“Northampton Saints is a Club steeped in history and the team is playing a fantastic brand of rugby at the moment – plus having a few fellow Fijians here at Franklin’s Gardens is a nice bonus! I can’t wait to get started.”

Paddy Ryan signs for Cornish Pirates

Back rower Paddy Ryan has moved in the other direction to Matavesi, from Saints to Cornish Pirates, with immediate effect.

The 21-year-old flanker scored a try to help seal a win for the Wanderers against Exeter Braves in the 2017/18 Premiership Rugby A League Final, and made his only first team appearance last season against Wasps in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

A serious ACL injury curtailed his opportunities in Northampton from there on however, and Ryan leaves Franklin’s Gardens in search of first team rugby with the best wishes of everyone at the Club.

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